Vacation Horror Stories: Stranded, Splinters And Smells

As part of our summer series, "Vacation Horror Stories," listener Erin Burke says her family is cursed with constant bad luck on its vacations: Rain on beach excursions, splinters in feet, locked vacation homes, and hotel rooms ripe with the smell of dead cats.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And if you're not just staying home this summer season, maybe you'll find a paradise vacation somewhere. Well, be cautious. The best-laid plans can go awry, as we've learned from stories you've sent us about disastrous travels for a little feature we call...

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Vacation...

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SIEGEL: ...Horror Stories.

ERIN BURKE: My name is Erin Burke, and I live in Huntsville, Alabama. My family has really bad vacation luck. Every time we go on a vacation, we have this series of events that is kind of amazing. Last summer, we went to the beach, and it rained all week, which was disappointing. My brother got a big splinter in his foot and had to go to the hospital. Our car almost broke down in the middle of nowhere. On our way back, the carrier fell off the top of the car on to the middle of the highway during a severe thunderstorm.

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BURKE: A couple of years ago, we went on a ski vacation to Park City, and we could not find the lockbox to our condo on Christmas night. And we couldn't get in touch with the owners because they were in Russia, but we ended up staying in a hotel that night.

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BURKE: When I was pretty young - I was in elementary school, but I still remember it pretty well - my family had his sailboat, and we took the sailboat down to the beach. And we're having this nice evening cruise, and we got stuck on a sandbar. We were right in front of this restaurant that looked out over the bay. We were providing great entertainment for the people dining at the restaurant, and eventually the Coast Guard had to come and rescue us.

And then on that same trip, on our way back, my dad had a really frustrating morning getting the sailboat ready to go and he hadn't eaten breakfast yet, so we stopped at a fast food restaurant. And he completely forgot that the sailboat was behind him and ran over the drive-thru speaker. I remember I have this image of him in my head getting out of the car and picking up the speaker with this expression on his face, like, I cannot believe that just happened. And the person on the other end of the speaker was still asking for our order.

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BURKE: I don't know why we have such bad luck, but we are sure that someone in our family is cursed.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

That's Erin Burke. You can share terrifying tales of your own travel at npr.org. Please click on Contact Us and use vacation horror stories in the subject line.

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